Brad Brevet of RopeOfSilicon.com recently compiled a list of the worst movie titles of all time. Of all time? That’s ambitious. It actually seems to be just of the last 10 years or so. Here are some of his choices (he didn’t really specify any criteria) and some of my additions.
1. The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants (2005)
Here’s Brevet’s take: “I realize how much little girls seem to love this film, and even some older girls as well, but to deny the fact that The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants is an awful title demands a smidge of insanity.”
Nah, it’s a great title! There are pants. And a sisterhood. And traveling. What could be more appealing? And all you have to do is see “America Ferrera” on the poster and the rest of the words disappear anyway. (Although I will admit that this is an easy title to pornify, which to me is an important consideration for titles. Don’t call your movie Eyes Wide Shut if you don’t want it to inspire Legs Wide Open.)
2. Thir13en Ghosts (2001)
Brevet says, “Substituting numbers for letters in a title is not cute, cool or scary.” I totally concur. In fact, it’s ugly, lame and off-putting.
3. Lucky Number Slevin (2006)
Sigh. Don’t even get me started, as Molly Shannon‘s lesbian comedian character Jeannie Darcy would say.
4. The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford
Word. Rather, way too many of them.
5. I Heart Huckabees (2004)
Well, maybe the title is weird — especially now that the name Huckabee will evermore be associated with Republicans — but the movie’s pretty great, mostly because of Lily Tomlin. (And it’s on IFC this Saturday, as it happens.)
Here are some additions from me — trying to expand the scope a little beyond recent movies:
1. C.H.U.D. (1984)
It just sounds gross. But I guess that’s the point, since it stands for Cannibalistic Humanoid Underground Dwellers.
2. What Dreams May Come (1998)
This was my girlfriend’s immediate response when I told her about this post. And talk about easy to pornify — I remember everyone calling it Wet Dreams May Come. Because how can you not?
3. The People Under the Stairs (1991)
It seems like a placeholder title. Like “The One About the People Under the Stairs.”
4. Female Perversions (1996)
I like the movie, but the title is just asking for trouble.
5. The Brown Bunny (2003)
It sounds kind of sweet. Not digusting, like it actually is. Vincent Gallo and Chloe Sevigny are not anything like a cuddly child’s toy in this movie. And then once you know what happens in the film, the whole concept of a brown bunny is forever tainted.
6. Relax … It’s Just Sex! (1998)
Again, I kinda liked the movie, but way to guarantee that nobody will take you seriously. And you don’t even need to pornify it — it’s already pornified!
7. The Upside of Anger (2005)
The downside of trying to seem poetic and deep.
8. Everybody Gets It in the End (1982)
Sadly, it was just what you thought it would be. Again, no pornification necessary. (Apparently it was also called Tag: The Assassination Game, which isn’t better. My hometown movie theater went with the first option, and I can’t believe my parents actually let me see this movie.)
9. Maggie and Annie (2002)
Oh, wait; that’s not the worst title ever — it’s the worst movie ever. It should have been called Don’t Watch This Unless You’re Seeking a Lobotomy via Movie.
I seem to be thinking of bad movies rather than bad titles, so I’ll stop now!